The topic of mobile email has been growing steadily within the email marketing industry for the last few years. But let’s just clear a few things up, what do they actually mean when referring to mobile email; is it receiving an email on your laptop whilst travelling from London to Edinburgh, on your iPad whilst lying in bed with an early morning coffee or simply reading an email on your mobile phone when you are queuing for your favourite sandwich?
Well technically mobile email encompasses all of these, it’s an email you receive on a portable device; but of course mobile is also the shortened expression for the mobile phone.
So what is mobile optimized responsive email?
Well mobile ‘responsive email’ refers to how the email is displayed when it is received on the mobile smartphone or tablet device.
It is still only one piece of Html code but has been given extra code to adjust its dimensions as per device; it responds to look one way when shown on a desktop email client, one way when shown within the mobile smartphone interface and another way when shown within a tablet interface (eg. Outlook would display it with a 3 column layout and iPhone would stack the columns displaying as a vertical one column layout).
‘Mobile optimized email’ covers the design and layout, but also the campaign communication aspect too. Optimising for mobile email means targeting and tailoring your email campaigns based on when or where your recipient may be. A design that feels non-intrusive during the waking hours, or a call to action which is quick and easy enough to respond to whilst on the local commute home.
Why is it important to optimise your emails for other devices?
Since 2010 the mobile email movement has been building in mass. With the sharp rise in mobile sales, it’s no surprise that email consumption on mobile devices is following a similar trend. More than half of mobile users in Japan and US read email on their device, with similar increasing figures all over.
Considerations for mobile
Along with the general increase in usage, visual factors and location also come into play. We have devised from recent surveys that people generally don’t mind scrolling down to read articles on a smart phone, but dislike scrolling sideways. Favourite places to read their email on their smart phone included; on transportation, whilst queuing, in bed before sleep, in bed whilst waking and even on the loo!
This raises the old question, “What is the best time to send your email” but that’s a blog for another day! The majority of us now use our smart phones for work outside of work hours; and with instant alerts we check our phones regularly without the day. Just like websites, software and advertising; if the feel and user experience isn’t right or we have a nightmare navigating through; we tend to either put it to the side or move off quickly.
We have had many clients asking about mobile optimised templates to use with EasyEditor. Well, the great news is we have made a few tweaks to make it even easier to create ‘mobile optimised responsive email templates’ which work wonderfully within the drag & drop EasyEditor interface. Meet Moreet, your new best friend (mobile optimized responsive EasyEditor email template).
At this stage Moreet will change the format of the email itself depending on the device received. It will resize all 1 columns and stack all column sections as a single columns. It will have the normal EasyEditor abilities to change copy & images, duplicate elements and drag and drop sections to other sections. You also have the ability to hide sections within the mobile version and create ‘hide/show progressive disclosure’ sections for articles etc. At the moment these will need to be bespoke design/builds tweaked within the code to allow this.
These are currently fully supported for iPhone and some Android devices, we will keep you updated with a full list at a later stage.
If you already own and view your emails on a mobile phone you have probably already experience the good, the bad and the downright ugly. An email can look fantastic on your desktop or webmail; but when the same email is viewed on a smartphone, you may find you have to endure unreadable text, fiddly buttons, squished columns and broken layouts.
With mobile email usage soon set to reach the levels of desktop and webmail clients, or in some industries even surpass them; sculpting your email to display optimally on a mobile device is just as important. So with the possibility of the minority of users growing to a majority; allowing a reduced user experience in the palm of your recipients hands, could potential lead to poor response rates and a reduction in readership.
What does it look like?
The visuals above illustrate responsive email and the benefits of being optimized for a more comfortable fit within a smartphone device. Enlarging logos, buttons and text aids readability and allows easier access for your finger. High contrast colouring aids those with devices set to low brightness. The restructuring of layout can hide the unrequired side bars and altered the multi column architecture into vertical scrollable single columns.
If you’re interested in getting your email campaigns mobile ready, please get in touch.